by the Military Health System
edited by Meredith March, Defense Media Activity Air Force Production
February is American Heart Month, so show your heart some love by keeping it healthy.
Heart disease and stroke are the number one killers worldwide. They claim 17.5 million lives each year – the equivalent of more than one death every two seconds. Heart disease is a term that includes several more specific heart conditions. The most common heart condition in the United States is coronary heart disease, which can lead to heart attack.
Risk factors for heart disease and stroke include high blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels; smoking; inadequate intake of fruits and vegetables; obesity and physical inactivity. Together, these major risk factors account for approximately 80 percent of deaths from heart disease and stroke.
The only way to know your level of risk is to be assessed by a healthcare professional, who will check your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, waist measurement and BMI. Once you know your overall risk, agree with your healthcare professional on a plan for specific actions you should take to reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke.
More information on heart health is available here.